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This is a traditional folk song from Somerset, famously arranged by composer Benjamin Britten.

Little Sir William

Little Sir William

Easter day was a holiday
Of all days of the year,
And all the little schoolfellows went out to play
But Sir William was not there.

Mamma went to the School wife house
And knocked at the ring
Saying, "Little Sir William, if you are there
Pray let your mother in."

The School wife open'd the door and said:
"He is not here today
He is with the little schoolfellows out on the green
Playing some pretty play."

Mamma went to the Boyne water
That is so wide and deep
Saying, "Little Sir William, if you are there
Oh pity your mother's weep."

"How can I pity your weep, mother
And I so long in pain?
For the little pen knife sticks close to my heart,
And the School wife hath me slain.

"Go home, go home, my mother dear,
And prepare my winding sheet,
For tomorrow morning before eight o'clock
You with my body shall meet.

"And lay my Prayer Book at my head,
And my grammar at my feet,
That all the little schoolfellows, as they pass by,
May read them for my sake."

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